Historically the act of design was often associated with the person who both designed and produced the product.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution and the resulting need for specialisation, two strands of design evolved:
Design as art
Design as engineering
These two strands of expertise evolved with differing skill and educational needs. The results of which can be
seen today for example in the distinction (or schism, as Ivor Owen, former director of the Design Council put it)
between Industrial Design and Engineering Design.
Bryan Lawson, in his book 'How Designers Think', compares the design activities of a fashion designer with those
of a structural engineer, commenting that engineering design appears very precise, procedural and systematic,
where as fashion design seams to be much more open, undefined, spontaneous and creative. An engineer
usually has a very clear idea of what is required where as the fashion designer may well have vaguer and more
generic criteria to meet. Underneath the surface of both roles lies similarity though, as engineers often have to
work creatively, starting with a 'blank sheet of paper', and fashion designers have to work with considerable
technical knowledge of materials and making processes.
So, as specialisation increased so did the range of activities associated with the term design.
Design Tree (1989) shows graphically different types of specialisation and links them with their historical
development. Whilst the tree does not specify all categories of design, many on the simulation side are missing
for example, it does give a useful overview of design activities and the historical roots of design.